Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dukkas and Don'tkas

There are basically three reasons to make some things from scratch: 1) it's cheaper, 2) you can't readily buy it, or 3) the way you can buy it isn't the way you like it.

This Sunday finds me tearing up the kitchen-- in addition to the sauerkraut I started a couple of weeks ago, I have a little kim chee going, some vegan pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins, and I'm also toasting the spices to make some dukka to go with our roasted cauliflower soup.

What's dukka, you ask? It's a delicious nut and spice mix from Egypt. You take a hunk of bread, dip it in olive oil, and then in the dukka. We love it around here, and here is the only place we can get it.


1/2 cup hazelnuts
6 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 cup salted roasted pistachios
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 12 minutes, until fragrant and the skins blister. Transfer the hazelnuts to a kitchen towel and let cool. Rub the nuts together to remove the skins and transfer to a food processor.

In a medium skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Spread the spices out on a plate and let cool completely, then finely grind in a spice grinder. In the same skillet, toast the sesame seeds over moderate heat until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the sesame seeds to the plate to cool. Add the coriander, cumin, sesame seeds and thyme to the food processor along with the pistachios, cayenne and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the dukka to a bowl.

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